Mar 9, 2014
Escaped Child Bride Says She’d ‘Rather Die’ Than Be Forced to Marry
Posted on Jul 22, 2013
In a chilling and heartbreaking video that has gone viral, a brave 11-year-old girl from Yemen opens up about risking her life by escaping from her family ahead of a forced marriage to an adult suitor. Nada al-Ahdal says she fled to her uncle in the capital city of Sana’a after learning of her parents’ plan, despite the fact that they threatened to kill her if she left. It was the second attempt her parents made to marry her off. The first one happened when Nada was just 10 years old.
“I would have had no life, no education. Don’t they have any compassion?” Nada asks in the video that was released by MEMRI-TV. “I’m better off dead. I’d rather die,” she says, referring to the alternative of being forced into an arranged marriage.
“This is no upbringing,” she points out. “This is criminal, simply criminal.”
The courageous girl discusses the cruelty that some of her peers have endured as child brides, recounting the story of her own teenaged aunt who was beaten with metal chains at the hands of a husband she was forced to marry. After about a year of marriage, Nada says her aunt took her own life by pouring gasoline over her body and lighting herself on fire.
“I managed to solve my problem, but some innocent children can’t solve theirs,” Nada says. “And they might die, commit suicide, or do whatever comes to mind. ... It’s not our fault. I’m not the only one. It can happen to any child.”
“Nada al-Ahdal is proof that bravery knows no age,” The Daily Dot notes.
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.
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